Sunday, September 17, 2006
Four bombs went off in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk Sunday. A truck bomb went off outside the offices of President Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), killing at least 18 people and wounding 55, police said on Sunday. A man sitting beside the bomber opened fire on civilians before the truck slammed into the city's criminal court and exploded, said police Brigadier Sarhat Qadir. A few hours later, a car bomber rammed into a joint US-Iraqi army patrol in the south of the city, killing at least three bystanders and wounding eight others, Qadir said.
COMMENT: It is unclear who was behind these bombings which seem fairly coordinated. On the other hand, it could be several groups as the situation in Kirkuk is so complex. Although the Kurds want Kirkuk to become part of Kurdistan, Kurds were never a majority in Kirkuk and recently more Kurds have been moving in. The city's population includes Turkmen - who historically constituted up to two-thirds of the city's population - as well as Sunni Arabs, Chaldeans and Assyrians. These groups do not want to become part of Kurdistan. Sectarian killings have been rife in Kirkuk, as well as attacks on security forces and previous attacks on Talabani's family and party, the PUK. COMMENT ENDS.